All my work has its genesis in collage (even the minimalistic linear works.) From collage came the conflation or mashup of different cultures and eras; the use of stacked and interleaved linear arrangements; image remixing, glitching and disruption; information (and later, code) as media, or content as paint; palimpsest (z axis collages involving the passage of time) investigations; the blend of visual and music production techniques to make visuals (scratching, sampling, timestretching, delay/echo); the use of found materials in my outdoor works; the ‘things made of things’ approach; the digitalesque aesthetic versions of works done using nature; visual genetic modification and splicing of an image’s DNA… and the realizaion of the method as an analogy for spiritual or esoteric concerns (more about that in my Statement).
One of the first a/b/a/b linear collages
The origin of the above approaches and concepts was humble. I was living in Tokyo, broke, in a crowded apartment. My medium was free — Japanese and “foreign” magazines plucked from the garbage, and posters stolen from the subway — and I could work at a small table. A moment of epiphany led me to slicing images into linear strips (with an Xacto knife and ruler), arranging them as interleaved strata inside a larger shape. The slices were arranged Image A and Image B as A/B/A/B/C/B/C, like a rhyme scheme in a poem. The compressed multiple times and perspectives into a simultaneous ‘now’. Those collages were first done anonymously in public — I’d slice and rearrange posters in situ, in secret. I later ‘exhibited’ works, keeping them in public, but showing in a phone booth, subway stations, stationary store racks, elevators and trains. Later larger works were shown in ‘legitimate’ spaces — the first remix was done in a gallery in Ginza, when I realized an 8′ collage I’d done in four panels (my tatami mat apartment was too small to do it in one piece) could have its sections rotated to deconstruct the initial image. (Ultimately, and full circle, I projected collages 80’ high above the public square in Shibuya, not far from my first telephone booth show).
A remixed subway poster
I continued the cross-cultural fusions of information, a predilection encouraged by extensive global travels. The four-piece panel work continued. I realized at some point that separately conceived works could be intermixed into larger, many-paneled mega-collages. Over time the panels became smaller (and the paintings bigger) which led to many more recombinant possibilites within and across paintings. A later exhibition had, as its finaly, many large paintings combined into a 30’ long sculptural wall-installation consisting of 400 aluminum panels. That work led to remixable sculptures like Acceleration Still.
The collage approach continued on through static paintings (not on panels), found flora works done en plein air, large earthworks, small paper paintings, and even minimalistic line paintings (where the strips of paint are similar to collage in the complex and compressed shapes that appear between the margins.) And in the music.
An early ‘linear strip’ collage
The first remixable work, an 8′ collage done on 4 panels (“Conquistador”)
Mona Risa, made from manga, Asian movie posters, money, Hokusai prints and so on.
The first mixed media, painterly collage, original and remixed
3 paintings collaged together
A remixed collage painting
A glitched found flora collage painting, done en plein air
A painted collage using found flora, on paper
A collage earthwork
Note the similarity between the linear collage lines and the complex painted lines